Reentry programs and reentry courts are designed to help returning citizens successfully "reenter" society following their incarceration, thereby reducing recidivism, improving public safety, and saving money.
A primary focus of our reentry efforts is to remove or reduce barriers to successful reentry, so that motivated individuals - who have served their time and paid their debt to society - are able to compete for a job, attain stable housing, support their children and their families, and contribute to their communities.
Local Reentry Program
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is a stakeholder in the District of Alaska’s Alaska Hope Court, a reentry court that was founded in May 2015 and held its first session in June 2015. The Alaska Hope Court is a cooperative effort of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. District Court, Federal Public Defender and the U.S. Probation Office. Alaska Hope Court provides heightened supervision for high-risk offenders serving terms of probation or supervised release. By focusing on those reentrants who are assessed to be among the most likely to recidivate, and reducing the likelihood that these individuals will commit new crimes, Alaska Hope Court aims to maximize its impact on: • Improving public safety • Strengthening Alaska’s communities • Saving public resources To reduce criminal recidivism, Alaska Hope Court is structured to include the following features: • Immediate & proportional sanctions for misconduct • Positive reinforcement in a public setting, which includes judicial participation • Substance abuse & mental health treatment, as needed • Assistance with basic needs that frequently are barriers to successful reentry (e.g., housing, employment, medical care) • Assistance developing life skills & critical thinking • Peer pressure from other participants to avoid risky behavior Alaska Hope Court convenes every other Thursday from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in Courtroom 4 at the James M. Fitzgerald United States Courthouse, 222 W. 7th Avenue, Anchorage. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s other reentry efforts or the Department of Justice’s Smart on Crime initiative, please contact the Public Information Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office at (907) 271-5071.
Federal Interagency Reentry Council (FIRC)
The FIRC, established by the Attorney General in January 2011, comprises 20 federal agencies representing a significant executive branch commitment to coordinating reentry efforts and advancing effective reentry policies. It is premised on the recognition that many federal agencies have a major stake in prisoner reentry. Learn more
Reentry improves public safety. Approximately two million adults are incarcerated in state prisons and local jails. Nationally, two out of every three people released from state prisons are rearrested for a new offense and about half are reincarcerated within three years. Reducing recidivism is critical for increasing long-term public safety and lowering corrections costs.
Individuals who have been incarcerated can expect their future earnings to be reduced by about 40 percent after they return to their communities. Reentry efforts seek to reduce barriers to employment so that people with past criminal involvement – after they have been held accountable and paid their dues – can compete for work opportunities.
There is often a lack of continuity in care from inside the prison to the community. Reentry efforts can help ensure that the Affordable Care Act and other reforms will significantly increase access to appropriate physical and behavioral health interventions after release from incarceration. Substance abuse can be a significant impediment to successful reentry and a major health concern. Addressing the root causes of substance abuse leads to improved public safety.
Education is a core resource for release preparation, and is an evidence-based tool for reducing recidivism among adults and juveniles. Participation in education programming was associated with a 16 percent reduction in recidivism in one study. Education is also a critical building block for increasing employment opportunities.
Stable housing with appropriate supportive services is a key factor in preventing homelessness and reducing recidivism. The goal is to reduce barriers to public and subsidized housing, and advance promising models that improve outcomes for people who repeatedly use corrections and homeless services.
Please visit the following resources for more information about reentry: